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Old 08-05-2008, 06:20 PM   #1
Randy Mitchell
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Concerned about starting

To make a long story short, I worked out at Mark Rippetoe's gym in my early twenties some 24 to 25 years ago, doing a lot of the power lifts, cleans, and other heavy movements. Due to Rip's tutelage, I had very good form in my lifts and was pretty strong for my size. 7 or 8 years ago I torn the tendon that connects the pec to the humerus out of the bone doing heavy bench press singles. Then, a few years ago, I ruptured my L5 disc and had spinal fusion surgery to repair it. I'm now 45 years old and have recovered well from the two surgeries and I would love to start training using crossfit, but I know it involves a lot of squats, deadlifts, powercleans, and some bench press. The last thing in the world I want is to have another injury requiring surgery. Is this training for me? Do I modify it so I'm not doing the heavy stuff? I'm a firefighter, so I can't afford to keep having injuries, but a lot of fireman in my department do this workout and love it. It seems perfect for my job. Anyway, just wondering if this workout is for me the way it is, or do I modify it?
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:55 PM   #2
Jason Unovitch
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Re: Concerned about starting

Like it says on the what is page... The program is universally scalable making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. It sounds like you have the committed individual part down pretty well. Do what you can and enjoy the kool aid.
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:22 PM   #3
Jerry Maestas
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Re: Concerned about starting

I have had L5 S1 spinal fusion myself. There are a couple of movements that aggravate the general area (like GHD situps), but overall I have taken it easy and worked my way in slowly to let the muscles adjust and get stronger. THese workouts have really increased my ability to have full range of motion again, as well as confidence in my movements. I am 30 years of age, but I can attest to crossfit being great even with the surgeries and all. Enjoy the workout and enjoy being stronger than before your surgery, which is something that I never thought I would say!
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:21 AM   #4
Randy Mitchell
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Re: Concerned about starting

Jerry, do you actually do the heavy deadlifts and squats that are called for? Those used to be my favorite lifts until my injury and subsequent surgery. Now, the thought of them scares me to death.

The first few months after the surgery was one of the worst times of my life, but I've feel great now. I'm actually pain free and want to stay that way.

I've actually gotten very strong using heavy dumbbells for my pressing movements. I stay away from the bench press, because of what it did to me.
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:42 AM   #5
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Concerned about starting

Randy,

I'm 53 years old, and recovering my second cervical spine surgery; I'm now fused from C3 to C7. In addition, I have a nasty tendinitis of my left rotator cuff and left elbow (lateral epicondylitiis).

I'm in the recovery phase, still having significant amount of pain, sleeplessness, and fatigue, but I'm also determined to find a way to incorporate Crossfit into my life once I'm well. A few short months ago, I was flyin' pretty high on being in the best shape of my life doing Crossfit regularly.

Look at your first six months of Crossfit as careful exploration of what your body can safely do. LISTEN to your body, and don't under-recover. For me, the ideal schedule, given my age and my body, would be two days of all-out Crossfit training per week and doing something else easier on the body the other days.

A good approach would be to look at the Brand X workouts (found on the main site under "start here" with a link to Brand X). These are scaled WODs. Don't be afraid to really start light with the lifts. If you increase your weights very slowly, you will get stronger, albeit slowly.

Injuries can't sometimes be helped, but you lower your risk if you take it slow and spend adequate time recoverinng. Also make sure your nutrition is good!

Susie
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:12 AM   #6
Brian Bedell
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Re: Concerned about starting

This almost sounds like a rhetorical question to me. With your exercise background it seems that only you, and/or your Dr., can answer this question. You already know that you should start light and slow and work your way up, I really don't think you need anyone on here to tell you this.

Are you really looking for a definitive answer from people you don't even know?
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:03 AM   #7
Randy Mitchell
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Re: Concerned about starting

I've actually completely recovered from my surgeries and am quite strong now, so starting out light and increasing the weight is not necessary. I've been working out regularly, just not crossfit. I guess I was trying to see if there was an alternative to the squat and deadlift singles. I may have to leave the power phase out of my routine. Just wondering what would be a good substitute, if there are some.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:15 AM   #8
Jason Levens
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Re: Concerned about starting

i say just start with light weight on those lifts that scare you. squats have always scared me due to knee surgery, but if you dont do the recommended lift you miss out on the rx'd motion. i been doing cross fit for about 10 days. i am in decent shape but this work out is a total body workout so you will be in shape for just about any range of motion life throws your way. i have found i need to do the puppy wod on alot of the things which you will find in the brand x forum. just check it out, try what ever they tell you but be safe on weight. you will know your limit before you get hurt if you play smart. but if you play scared it may hurt you more. that why they give you theropy after surgeries to strengthen the injured areas. enjoy
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:16 AM   #9
Jerry Maestas
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Re: Concerned about starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Mitchell View Post
Jerry, do you actually do the heavy deadlifts and squats that are called for? Those used to be my favorite lifts until my injury and subsequent surgery. Now, the thought of them scares me to death.

The first few months after the surgery was one of the worst times of my life, but I've feel great now. I'm actually pain free and want to stay that way.

I've actually gotten very strong using heavy dumbbells for my pressing movements. I stay away from the bench press, because of what it did to me.
I have always been scared to do the lifts that are represented here in crossfit. but I always had some sort of pain or something else that bothered my body. I do all of the lifts now and I have had to work my way up and my body is getting strong across the board so I am feeling great doing all of the workouts now as RX'd.

When I started about 3 months ago I was shoulder pressing 140 lbs, squatting 205 and couldn't do a deadlift due to my back hurting. The last time I did these three workouts I did 145 shoulder press, 275 squat, and 295 deadlift! My body is balancing out in strength and my body loves me for it! I never thought I would get to 300lbs in a deadlift and here I am just 3 months in and I will pass this mark the next time I do these I am sure. The key is to listen to your body and not attempt to get the weight, but attempt to get the form. Especially because of your body being weaker at the points of operation. We have to build these up a lot before we can go all out like we used to.

Long story short; crossfit gave me my body back and I am loving my new found abilities to push weight! Get on the wagon already!
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:46 AM   #10
Randy Mitchell
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Re: Concerned about starting

Thanks. It's good to know that someone else who's had spinal fusion is now able to do deadlifts.

I have some of the necessary equipment, but need to buy more if I'm going to jump into this.

I'm tired of having to do an hour or more a day of cardio and then strength training seperately. Too much time.
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